La Biennale di Venezia di Architettura 2016 – Padiglione SERBIA

Sestiere Castello, Giardini della Biennale, Venice, Italy

2. Serbian PavilionHEROIC: Free Shipping

Commissioner: Ivan Raskovic. Scientific Committee: Ljiljana Miletic Abramovic, Igor Maric, Aleksandar Bobic, Milan Ðuric, Vladimir Milenkovic, Vesna Cagic Miloševic, Maja Ciric. Exhibitors: Stefan Vasic, Ana Šulkic and Igor Sjeverac.

Venue: Giardini

A curved floor draws two opposing sides in the Pavilion of Serbia. Heroic / Freeshipping, reflects on the idea of trenches separating opposing factions, raising the soil and forcing people who are on either side of the great room to an open confrontation.

The blue space is filled with sounds that reproduce alternation of the keyboard typing and mouse commands. Each command typed becomes a separate rhythmic figure, fast or slow, soft or hard. Bearing in mind that the confirmation of each command is the “space” key, the biggest key, activated by the thumb, this gives the rhythm and binds the individual sound figures in rhythmic phrases. These elements are used to compose the structure of the soundscape. The layering of sound landscape contributes to the “spaciousness” sound experience.

As explained by the exhibitors – “The project reflects on the problematic position of young architects in our profession, it sheds light to the severity of the system they are presented with and offers a deviation as an only space for further actualization in a climate of relentless competition and hyper-connectivity, thus resisting the absolutist character of postindustrial capitalism. As a possible way out of this feeling of systemic constriction, a route of the joint sailing opens up. The Pavilion will echo with the presence of the crowd, celebrating the energy and perseverance in the desire to highlight the importance of the existence of a joint effort.”

La Biennale di Venezia di Architettura 2016 – Padiglione EGITTO

Sestiere Castello, Giardini della Biennale, Venice, Italy

The 15th International Architecture Exhibition titled “REPORTING FROM THE FRONT” opened on May 28th and will end on November 27th 2016 in the Giardini, the Arsenale and various other venues in Venice. The Exhibition includes 88 Participants from 37 different countries, as well as 62 National Participation and a selected choice of Collateral Events.

As per the Biennale’s website “REPORTING FROM THE FRONT is about bringing to a broader audience, what is it like to improve the quality of life while working on the margins, under tough circumstances, facing pressing challenges. Or what does it take to be on the cutting edge trying to conquer new fields. It highlights the capacity and potential of architecture’s role inside communities”

1. Egyptian PavilionReframing Back / Imperative Confrontations.

Curator: Ministry of Culture, Commissioner: Ahmad Hilal, Exhibitors: Eslam Zenbaey, Luca Borlenghi, Gabriele Secchi, Mostafa Salim.

Venue: Giardini

The exhibition’s goal is to re-frame and position what the architects think of a successful architectural and urban conflict in the form of built projects, or even research proposals that attempted to highlight existing problems.

The exhibition titled Reframing Back//Imperative Confrontations, is displaying architectural projects largely by grassroots initiatives, students and young architects. The works presented can be broken down into two large categories – mapping investigations and (built-up projects and experimental proposals). The exhibition contains a various investigations about the Egyptian urban condition including sprawl, informal urbanism, desert vernacular architecture, coastal cities, and 19th– and 20th-century heritage buildings which have been all part of the parallel dynamics of growth in Egyptian context for the past half a century.

The catalog essay by Manar Moursi states that “this pavilion is in no way a comprehensive survey of all initiatives and works that have been produced recently in Egypt. It’s an attempt to introduce to a large audience the work of those individuals and collectives, students and professionals who have been searching for new operating models in Egypt and engaging in architecture as a field of critical intellectual inquiry. It is at the same time an opportunity to evaluate its potential for action and transformation.”

Ponte della Costituzione

Beside Stazione Santa Lucia, over the grand canal, Venice, Italy

Bridges in Venice do more than just joining the different parts of the city together. They serve as landmarks, meeting places, defining points in an utterly unique urban fabric. The design for Ponte della Costituzione aspires to meet these needs fully, while contributing a markedly new and vital element to the Grand Canal. A long sweeping form of glass and steel accessed by steps, Ponte della Costituzione is a pedestrian bridge designed by and named after the Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava. It is sited at an extremely strategic point, connecting the railway station with the Piazzale Roma. The bridge is important both functionally and symbolically, giving visitors their first impressions of Venice and providing a panoramic view of the Grand Canal.

The bridge is 94-meter long (308 feet), with a central span of 81 meters (266 feet). It rises from a height of 3.2 meters (10.5 feet) to 9.28 meters (30 feet) at midpoint. The all-steel structural element consists of a central arch of very large radius (180 meters or 590 feet), with two side arches and two lower arches. Joining the arches are girders made of steel tubes and plates, forming closed section boxes, which are placed radial to the main radius. The steps and deck of the bridge are made of tempered security glass, natural Istria and Trachite stones, picking up the design of the existing pavement. At night, fluorescent bulbs set within the handrail illuminate the path, adding to the stage-set effect created by illumination from below the transparent deck.

Moschea e Centro Islamico Culturale d’Italia

Viale della Moschea, 85, Roma, Italy

The Great Mosque of Rome is one of architects Paul Portuguese’s masterpieces, a peculiar synthesis of different artistic traditions with aesthetic content of Islamic spirituality. The architect wanted a large dome as a distinctive element, evoking the famous Turkish mosques but also the Roman domes, from the Pantheon to St. Peter; In fact, the floor plan, such as the classic mosque, sees the partnership of two forms: the plant square and the circle of the dome.

The internal space is divided into a sequence of 32 clustered pillars, which are connected to the vaulted domes with twisted and innervated elements, dematerializing the light and giving a sense of vagueness and spirituality. The outside columns also evoke the gesture of praying hands.

MAXXI : Museo nazionale delle arti del XXI secolo

Via Guido Reni, 4, Rome, Italy

MAXXI; National Museum of the 21st Century Arts opened in 2010 is an exhibition and art space that devoted to contemporary creativity, arts and architecture. Designed by Zaha Hadid Architects, it is a space where contemporary language of design, fashion, cinema, art and architecture can meet in new dialogue.

The building integrates itself with it’s surroundings and re-interprets it’s urban grids to generate it’s own geometry complexity. Through the flow of it’s walls that constantly intersect and separate to create indoor and outdoor spaces. MAXXI express itself through glass, steel and cement achieving great curatorial flexibility and variety.

The two museums – MAXXI art and MAXXI architecture – revolve around the full-height grand hall, from where the reception services, the cafeteria, the bookshop, the didactic laboratories, the auditorium, the live event halls, the galleries dedicated to temporary exhibitions and the collections of graphics and photography are accessed.

Museo dell’Ara Pacis

Lungotevere in Augusta corner to via Tomacelli, Rome, Italy

Museum of the Ara Pacis is situated on the bank of the Tiber River, located on the western edge of the Piazza Augusto Imperatore. It is designed as a renewed space by architect Richard Meier to house the Ara Pacis, a sacrificial altar dating to 9 B.C.

The structure consists of a long, single-story glazed loggia elevated above a shallow podium providing a transparent barrier between the embankment of the Tiber and the existing circular perimeter of the mausoleum of Augustus, built circa 28 B.C. The clarity of the volumes and the building’s proportions relate in scale to Rome’s ancient structures. A predominating feature of the new building is a glass curtain wall measuring 150 feet long and 40 feet high. The asymmetrical entry hall, defined by seven slender columns in reinforced concrete finished with white waxed marble plaster, leads to the main hall, which houses the Ara Pacis. The contrast between the subdued lighting of the entrance space and the expansive top-lit and rigorously symmetrical main hall encourages a naturally progressive circulation. The roof over the main hall rests on four columns with skylights to maximize natural lighting and to eliminate “false shadows.” Outside the main structure, a low travertine wall extending from within the main hall traces the ancient shore of the Tiber River. The travertine comes from the same quarry as the stone that was used to build the Piazza of the Emperor Augustus in the Thirties.  

Although housing and protecting the ancient altar was the main focus of this museum, the building also provides space for temporary exhibitions and installations dedicated to archaeological themes and a state-of-the-art digital library of Augustan culture. An outdoor roof terrace above the auditorium functions as an essential part of the circulation of the museum and includes a contiguous bar and café with views over the Mausoleum of Augustus to the east and the Tiber River to the west.